Today is really “day zero” for the IFA 2012 show, as it doesn’t officially begin until tomorrow, 31 August; but that hasn’t stopped most major companies holding their press events or sending out press releases announcing their new products. There’s plenty of press action on the show floor too, which all goes to explain just how busy it has been with tech news coming out of Berlin.
HP Joins The Tablet/Laptop Party with The Envy x2
HP has climbed aboard the tablet/laptop hybrid train with the Envy x2. Like other Asus Transformer-like machines, the 11.6-inch screen separates from its keyboard dock to become a standalone tablet. It’s set to use an Intel processor, and therefore the full version of Microsoft Windows 8, and will go on sale before the end of the year.
It was joined by two other HP Windows 8 products, the Envy TouchSmart and the Spectre TouchSmart, both of which are touchscreen Ultrabooks also running Windows 8.
Dell XPS 10 and XPS Duo 12
Another Windows 8 tablet, the XPS 10, has been announced, this time by Dell and it runs Windows 8 RT and ARM architecture. As the name suggests, it has a 10-inch screen and a keyboard dock will also be available to buy. It’s joined by the XPS Duo 12 Ultrabook, which has a 12.5-inch screen that flips around (something like tablet computers of old) to act as a tablet PC. It will run the full version of Windows 8 with processors going up to Intel’s Core i7. Expect them to be released at the end of this year.
Sony NFC Speaker and Headphones
With the introduction of NFC on the new Xperia T and Xperia V, Sony has added an NFC/Bluetooth speaker and a pair of headphones to its range too. The SRS-BTM8 is the speaker, which works with mains or battery power, and has a clever handle to make it easier to carry around the house.
It’s joined by three MDR-1 headphone models, of which the noise-cancelling MDR-1RNC set has NFC built in to make it easier to pair them with your phone. The headphones and the speaker will both go on sale in October.
One of the most exciting products of the show so far has come from Archos. The GamePad is a 7-inch Android tablet with a set of hardware gaming controls mounted either side of the screen, which can be mapped to play most modern games downloaded from Google Play.
It’s coming in October, and will cost less than £130, making it not only a strong challenger for the Nexus 7, but the Sony PS Vita and the Nintendo 3DS too.
Samsung 64GB microSD Cards
MicroSD cards aren’t all that exciting, but this one is as interesting as they get, due to it occupying a new class. Named UHS-1, they have a read/write speed of 70MB/20MB per second, which is four times faster than the standard microSD cards we use at the moment. Expect it to go on sale in October, when it will undoubtedly be expensive, and won’t be supported by every available device.
We’ll return for day two tomorrow, with another roundup of the news from IFA 2012.